Occurrence and Severity of Angular Leaf Spot of Common Bean in Kenya as Influenced by Geographical Location, Altitude and Agroecological Zones
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A survey to determine the prevalence, incidence and severity of angular leaf spot of common bean was conducted in Embu, Kakamega, Kiambu, Machakos and Taita Taveta districts of Kenya. The districts were selected based on the intensity of bean production, spatial and ecological location. Angular leaf spot was prevalent in all the districts and was recorded in 89% of the farms visited. The disease was present in all the farms surveyed in Embu, Kakamega and Machakos districts. In Taita Taveta and Kiambu districts, disease prevalence was 80 and 65%, respectively. The disease was prevalent across the lower midland, lower highland and upper midland agroecological zones and altitude ranges of 963-2322 m above sea level (m.a.s.l.). Disease incidence and severity were high (mean values of 49.6 and 21.4%, respectively) and varied significantly (p≤0.05) among districts, farms, agroecological zones and different altitudes. Kakamega and Taita Taveta districts recorded the highest disease incidence and severity, respectively, whereas Embu district had the lowest incidence and severity. Bean fields in the altitude ranges of below 1200 m and 1600-2000 m.a.s.l. had the highest disease severity (33.8%) and incidence (52.9%), respectively, whereas areas above 2000 m recorded lower disease levels. Agroecological zone LM2 and UM4 had the highest levels of disease incidence and severity whereas zones LH1 and UM3 had the lowest levels, respectively. These results indicate that angular leaf spot is severe and highly prevalent in Kenya. The disease spans across all the agroecological zones and altitude ranges where beans are grown. Efforts should, therefore, be geared towards an integrated approach to manage the disease.